Bletsoe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Bletsoe surname is a habitational name, originally taken on from a place named Bledisloe in Gloucestershire, derived from the Old English personal name "Bli-ð," and the Old English word "hlaw," meaning "a hill."
Early Origins of the Bletsoe family
The surname Bletsoe was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England, formerly part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Bletsoe, Osbert de Breuil from Hugh de Beauchamp, a Norman Baron, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.
Important Dates for the Bletsoe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bletsoe research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the year 1362 is included under the topic Early Bletsoe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bletsoe Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Bledsoe, Bletshoe, Bledshoe, Bletso, Bledshow, Bletshow, Bledso, Bletsor and many more.
Early Notables of the Bletsoe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bletsoe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bletsoe migration to the United States
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bletsoe or a variant listed above:
Bletsoe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- William Bletsoe, who settled in Virginia in 1639
- William Bletsoe, who landed in Virginia in 1639 
- Roger Bletsoe, who arrived in Maryland in 1641 
- Roger Bletsoe, who settled in Maryland in 1641
Bletsoe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John Morgan Bletsoe, who settled in New York in 1820
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)